Protective costs orders – what are they and when might they arise?

Introduction Protective costs orders are orders made by a court at the beginning of a proceeding, capping the parties’ potential liability to pay their opponent’s costs in the event they are unsuccessful. They are a recent and rare introduction to the legal landscape in Australia, and appear to be limited to cases where the court … Continued

Self represented litigants – Issues for government

  There are increasing numbers of self-represented litigants in our courts and tribunals. Self-represented litigants, or SRLs, pose particular challenges, especially for government agencies (including local government). This article looks at what a SRL is, the issues they raise for government dealing with them and some tips to help manage them, as well as some … Continued

Victorian Privacy Laws are changing

In July, we advised of proposed reforms to Victorian Privacy Laws, brought about by the Privacy and Data Protection Bill 2014 (Bill). To access our previous article titled ‘Proposed Change to Victorian Privacy Laws’, which sets out an overview of the reforms and the implications for the Victorian Public Sector, click here. This week, the … Continued

Eyes in the sky – drones and privacy

On 14 July 2014, the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs (Committee) published a report on the impact of drones on privacy in Australia. Titled Eyes in the Sky: Inquiry into the Regulation of Air Safety and Privacy (Drones Report), the paper discusses many of the issues that arise from … Continued

Do the privacy reforms rain on the cloud computing parade?

The new Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) came into effect on 12 March 2014. In APP 8, they introduce a new ‘accountability’ approach to cross-border disclosures of personal information.  The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has indicated that an entity using a cloud service provider will not be required to comply with APP 8 … Continued

Liquidator trumps secured creditor – liquidator’s lien upheld

In a decision of interest to both secured creditors and liquidators, the High Court has now overturned a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria that found a liquidator was not entitled to an equitable lien to secure his reasonable costs in obtaining a settlement sum. In Stewart v Atco … Continued

Changes to the VCAT Act: implications for FOI proceedings

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Act 2014, which was passed on 1 April 2014, contains reforms relevant to FOI proceedings. Most significantly, the reforms will enable the Tribunal to: invite an agency to reconsider its decision at any time in a review proceeding make an order in relation to fees (including application and … Continued

FOI and third party review rights

Agencies that are subject to freedom of information (FOI) legislation, in whatever jurisdiction, are continuously required to balance the competing interests of the agency, the person making the FOI request and third parties whose information might be disclosed. This balancing act becomes even more difficult when third party appeal rights are exercised. This article discusses … Continued

Risk-based regulation: an important tool for local government as regulator

Why is risk-based regulation important for local government? There is a broad range of areas for which local government has a regulatory oversight role, including building, planning, food safety and animal management. In July 2012, the Productivity Commission (Commission) issued a report entitled ‘Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: the Role of Local Government as … Continued